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Organic Modernism: A Warm, Inviting Mid-Century Design

Create a living space that’s modern, yet full of natural elements and life.

In recent years, organic modernism has become more popular, particularly when many people around the world are spending most of their time at home. Our living spaces have become our workspaces and our social centers, yet it’s still the place that we retreat to for rest and relaxation. It’s no surprise that welcoming and cozy aesthetics have become a must-have. Cue the rise of natural elements and minimalist design. This contemporary style blends rustic elements, like neutral colors and natural materials, with the modern furniture and style that has dominated interior design for decades. While clean lines remain popular, décor has shifted to include elements like reclaimed wood, stone, linens, and other natural materials that don’t appear overly artificial. The idea is ultimately very simple: an unfussy living space that’s cozy, clean, and natural. Keep reading to learn more about how you can create a beautiful, luxe organic modern design.

 In this article we’ll talk about

  • Why Everyone Loves The Style
  • A Neutral Color Palette
  • Simple Shapes & Clean Lines
  • The Natural Textures
  • Design With Open Space in Mind
  • Describing This Home Trend

Why Everyone Loves Organic Modernism in 2022

We talked about how our homes have become places where we spend a significant amount of time, and how important comfort is because of that. But, there’s more to it than simply being in an environment where you can wear your pajama bottoms all day. A cluttered, disorganized environment can lead to health issues, too. Numerous studies have been done to show that a cluttered and disorganized home may lead to anxiety, sleep problems, and other mental health issues that impact our quality of life. It’s plausible that the reason this style is so popular is that it’s quite the opposite of clutter and chaos. Organic modernism encourages a comfortable living space that’s airy and minimal, free of visual reminders that cause many people to experience anxiety. In addition to potential mental health benefits, many people simply like the style. It incorporates the warmth of Scandinavian design with mid-century modern and artistic styles to create living spaces that blend sophistication and comfort with nature. Beyond understanding why clients love this style so much, color is possibly the first step toward creating an organic modern style.

A Neutral Color Palette

The key to creating the perfect organic modern design is the color palette. Unless you’re going for a distinct look, white walls in any design is usually a good choice and the same applies to organic modernism. Fresh, white paint is a good base for the room. To add even more warmth, creamy off whites may be an option as well. Beyond the walls, greens, beiges, very light grays, and other colors seen in nature are a popular choice. Bold colors can occasionally accent the room, but it’s still a good idea to stay with natural colors. Neon pink, for example, doesn’t really have a place in organic design, but pale red might. Natural wood colors, like teak or walnut finishes, are also popular in this contemporary design. It adds richness to the design and brings a sense of nature and the outdoors inside. Look around nature for color palette ideas, or browse some of the palettes we’re fond of.

Mr. Brown London’s Favorite Organic Modern Furniture

We love these colors, and some of our furniture designs reflect that! Take a look at our luxury furniture that works best in an organic, contemporary design.
A deep brown living room chair with a flared back and arms.A metal and mirrored piece of home décor designed to look like the sun. A wooden bed with a soft, fabric headboard.
Aside from color, another cornerstone of organic modernism is shape. Gone are the harsh lines and uncomfortable perceptions of elevated home décor. Instead, people want clean curves and minimalist designs that feel spacious, yet cozy. Natural materials and textures, which we’ll go over next, and clean lines do the trick with this style. Choose furniture that doesn’t overcrowd the room, and curate a handful of accent items that add interesting colors and textures to the design. Here are a few ideas:
  • Throw pillows
  • Live edge sculptures
  • Cabinets with a natural finish
  • Mid-century modern furniture items
Mid-century modern furniture boasts clean lines and an uncomplicated design, which is why this style was just one natural evolution of the original. Because of this, items that belong in the mid-century modern category are often closely aligned with this style as well.

Comparing Organic Modernism and Mid-Century Modern

Both of these styles are beautiful, yet distinct. Here are two stunning designs from our archives showcasing these two related, but unique styles.
An organic, modern home design with brown and white neutral colors.This design was done for a client that wanted a warm, inviting home. Sarah used natural colors, living accents, and multiple textures to create this organic modern design.
A modern home design with deep purples, patterns and furniture items.Unquestionably modern in design, David mixed edgy colors and patterns to create a unique living space. It’s a beautiful example of mid-century modern décor.
Our Favorites: The Misty Dining Table & The Granta Chair

The Natural Textures

Sometimes textures are an afterthought in design. We’re visual, and we typically think about how something looks before we consider how it feels. But, texture is just as important as the colors in a design. Like the rest of the design, the key here is simplicity. Here are three textures that work best in organic modern style. Read about other textures that are popular in luxury furniture with our blog post Now Trending: Textured Furniture.

Rattan

Also called jute, rattan is a material made from the bark of the white and tossa jute plants. With multiple uses in furniture and casegoods, it’s a popular choice for manufacturers. We like it for the aesthetics and added texture that it gives furniture. The look and feel of rattan fit in perfectly with organic modernism’s use of natural materials as well as the color palette. Our Favorite: The Simon Mirror

 Metals

A valuable resource in the world, metal is essential, but it isn’t always pretty. With organic modern styles, dimpled and hammered metals can create a bold focal point using very little in the way of manufacturing. It certainly takes effort to create a one-of-a-kind piece, but utilizing a raw material, and letting its best qualities literally shine in a design, is a great way to tie a room together. Our Favorite: The Hera Chandelier

Wood

The texture of wood can add an unmistakable, essential element to any piece of luxury furniture. With this particular style, paying attention to the way a wood surface feels when one slides their hand across it is as important as the stain used with woods in furniture design. Stains can add a rich, deep color while still preserving the grainy feel of wood. For some of our items, like those in our Belmont collection, the texture is as equally important as the design. Our Favorite: The Belmont Bed

Design With Open Space in Mind

At the beginning of this article, we talked about how clutter is believed to be linked with quality of life. Taking a minimalist approach when curating one of these contemporary spaces is essential for a beautiful design. Many homes designed with comfort in mind feature open layouts and utilize the indoors as well as the outdoors to create a living space that can be enjoyed year-round. While it creates a lovely design, it can be challenging to tie together a space that has multiple uses. When incorporating different styles is unavoidable, such as harsher, hard lines that can be found in a kitchen, color becomes a great tool for unifying a design. Consider stained wood furniture and kitchen cabinets with the same stain, or use a common material on lighting and casegoods to organically lead the eye around the room. For rooms that are smaller or more blocked off, you can create the illusion of more space with lighting. Strategically positioned light fixtures and the right color in the perfect place can make the smallest rooms feel more open.

Organic Modernism in the Home Office

The last few years have given way to the rise of the home office. Arguably potentially one of the more stressful areas of the home, the office needs to be relaxing. Here’s an example of a design that’s functional and peaceful.
  1. Open Layout. Notice how the work area doesn’t have clutter around it, like a trashcan, printer, or other things typically found in an office.
  2. Wooden Furniture. The furniture choices in this photo lend to a unique texture. Visually it’s organic, and it’s pleasing to the touch.
  3. Light Colors. The white and light blue-gray walls help give the room an airy feel while the neutral colors everywhere else evoke a soothing sense.
  4. Metallic Accents. There are multiple metallic accents throughout this design, ranging from the mirror and objet d’art to the legs of the Davies Low Cabinet.
  5. Personality. Although not necessarily a part of organic modern design, it’s hard to resist a little bit of whimsy to top off a comfortable and productive workspace.
Our Favorites: The Belmont Desk, The Davies Low Cabinet, The Durrant Arm Chair, and The Julius Table Lamp

Describing This Home Trend

It can be difficult to describe a style that’s organic and natural, yet so clearly modern and clean. For clients that aren’t sure what they are looking for, beyond a comfortable and clean living space, it may be necessary to introduce them to this style. Here are some of our favorite ways to describe organic modernism for clients, as well as some images that might help.

Descriptors & Phrases of This Style

Airy & Spacious            Elegant & Minimal                         Classic & Simple

“Organic modernism isn’t necessarily bohemian, but it isn’t minimalism either. It borrows from numerous styles to create a setting that feels unencumbered…but organic as well.” “The organic modern style incorporates colors and textures from nature with the styles we see from mid-century modern to create a functional and cozy trend in home décor.”

The Organic Modern Style in Photos

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